Now That You’re Gone



Aunty Dot.

Granny Dot.






To me….. you were Dot


The world breathes a sigh of relief,

We can eat what we want to now

The world mourns,

Who will challenge us and keep us on our toes?


I never really knew from where you came?

Triomph, in ‘va souf’?

Your’s was a difficult start,

You didn’t ever talk much to me about it.

And while I didn’t know where you came from,

I knew where you were going….

And nothing, and nobody was ever going to stop you.


You were a force. A gigantic force.To be reckoned with.

To be crossed at one’s peril.

For a little old granny,

There was no mistake…. Dot Bramley was in the house


Growing up you embarrassed me

I wore the clothes you made for me

Matched and designed in your style

I don’t dress to match today

I never again want to feel and look like I did growing up


There isn’t a snotty nose you encountered,

Who didn’t get a sermon on the benefits of giving up dairy products.

There wasn’t a verkrampte National Party supporter in your circle of friends,

Who dared open their mouth to express a view

Except Uncle Jack….

Uncle Jack and you, ………. an entertaining relationship, to say the least 🙂


You meddled in my life

You always had a view, and you let me know

Letting it go, and leaving it alone

This was not your style


I still don’t agree with at least half of your philosophies

You were an extremist, with no middle ground

Pragmatic to a fault

With views that came from way, way, way over there

At the edge


But these are not the memories of you that will live with me

These were just the annoying vignettes

That colour my story of you


You gave me permission to be different

To take a road less travelled

To take a view, make it my own and hold on tight

How to go to war for what I believe

And still get a good nights sleep


You showed me that what I believe defines who I am

And that compromising my beliefs,

Leaves the world poorer

Because debate, belief and curiosity takes us forward together,

And ultimately makes us better human beings


You showed generosity in the extreme

And there are people here tonight, who know that, even better than I

The many street vendors you woke up early to make sandwiches for every working day,

2 loaves of brown bread. Cheese. Tomato. Lettuce. Who does that?

You did that Dot.

Without fan fair, no great cause to belong to, no Green Peace T-Shirt


You taught me to drive

You put that little book about boys, pimples and sex under my pillow

It was you who disciplined me. Well, you and fucking Dr Watson!

You got me into University and out of the army


That’s right, Dot Bramley in the house!


13 years ago your Fuzzy, our Fuzzy, left

He left you suddenly, and he left you heartbroken

You were brave and strong, but we watched you break

Slowly, and sometimes quickly, over time, you broke, and you broke and you broke some more.


You kept breaking until last Wednesday,

When your breaking ended.

You’ve left us in body.

But Dottie, you live on in each one of us,

You have left us, never again to be the same


Woolies will miss you. (PS I still can’t bring myself to buy clothes from there)

Your family will miss you

Your grandchildren will miss you

Your friends will miss you

And there’s a whole community of people, who had very little,

But they had you. They’ll surely miss you as well


And I’m certain you’re smiling at me tonight

Because the Warrioress I describe, is so evident in who I am

I am you, and you are me. Your entire spectrum (give or take a tweak here and there).


You did not die last week. You live on. You live on in each and every one of us

We will keep meeting you, in ourselves and in others, for years to come

Every time we have snot sikte, every time we encounter a hungry person

Where we see injustice, and whenever we meet anyone with the surname ‘Karalis’


And when we go, you will still be here.

In our children and in our children’s children

You taught us how to live, and how to eat, and how to help, and how to be brave, how to stand strong, and how to never, ever give up.


And so you’re gone. It’s time for me to step up

To stand on my own

To ask, from time to time, what would Dot do?

Sometimes I’ll do that, and sometimes I wont.

You are with me, and I am with you

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